Support for places that need it

The Task Force provides targeted support to high streets that are assessed as high need, to help them build the capacity for transformation.

Please note - 'Support' here refers to a non-financial contribution, through services including expertise, training, learning and data. For financial support for businesses affected by COVID-19, see 


Direct support for high streets

In addition to its open-access support, the High Streets Task Force also provides support on a direct basis. This will be delivered over a four year programme and based around analysis of need at a local level, using criteria agreed with our funders the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Task Force will work directly with selected local authorities and place makers, including businesses, civic groups, and Local Economic Partnerships. This will be delivered over a four year programme and based around analysis of need at a local level.

The Task Force will contact local authorities in the first instance to offer support, or in the case of the Developing Place Leaders course contact will be with LEPs.

Please note, much of the direct support developed by the Task Force will only be operational when conditions allow. 

  • Transforming Your High Street Report
    The Task Force has already run Business Case Development seminars for town and city centres shortlisted under the Future High Street Fund. Towns that applied for that fund but were not shortlisted are receiving 'Transforming Your High Street' reports from the Task Force, based on their Expression of Interest. These provide a critical analysis of high street vision and plans from the perspective of future investment.

  • Unlocking Your Place Potential
    A one-day visit to a centre or high street, and its local authority, to diagnose the major barrier to transformation. The visits produce a report which includes the identification of the major barrier(s) to transformation and unlocking the place’s potential. The report also includes clear recommendations of what to do next. This includes identifying what can be progressed by the local authority/partners and what additional expertise from the High Streets Task Force may be required.

  • Expert visits
    Technical and professional experts may be provided by the Task Force to local authorities to help solve complex, interdisciplinary problems, if this is recommended as a result of the Unlocking Your Place Potential diagnostic visit.

    High Street Task Force Experts will – working in multidisciplinary teams in complex cases -  advise on a range of issues including planning, urban design, placemaking, landscape architecture, resilience, transport, valuation, asset management, investment, governance, data and analytics, place management and leadership.

  • Data dashboards (footfall and sentiment)
    The High Streets Task Force dashboards are based on a successful prototype developed over the last few years with funding from InnovateUK. They are designed to help those engaged in place management to understand the performance of their town centre or high street.

    Two versions of the dashboard are being offered:

    The Advanced dashboard: available to any place management organisation in England that collects footfall data in a town centre or high street, using Springboard's automated footfall counting technology. The Advanced dashboard enables place leaders to identify their town type, and where it sits in the activity hierarchy, as well as a number of other functions, such as monitoring the daytime and nighttime economies.

    The Standard dashboard: available to a wide variety of locations in England that agree to engage in a manual counting regime, counting three hours, over three days and three months. The Standard dashboard uses software, developed by Cardiff University, to turn these manual counts into one year of predicted, hourly footfall counts. This then enables place leaders to estimate their town type, level of attractiveness and other benefits.

    Register your interest in a dashboard

    To help us understand demand for the dashboards please register your interest, if you think a dashboard would help your town.

  • Mentoring
    An experienced High Streets Task Force Mentor may be provided to boost inter-agency and cross-sector working, when collaboration issues have been identified, through the Unlocking Your Place Potential visit.

  • Developing a Shared Vision for your High Street
    Available to places that meet certain conditions after an Unlocking Your Place Potential visit, these three-hour workshops pave the way for the development of a collaborative and transformative vision for a particular location. The workshop is designed to build consensus on the challenges facing the location, its distinctive features, shared values and sources of civic/community pride. The workshop includes a follow-up report to help the partnership design and achieve a vision.

  • Place Making Programme
    Available after a recommendation in the Unlocking Your Place Potential visit, the Place Making Programme is concentrated on building place leadership skills and capacity in a particular location. Elected members, council officers, business leaders, BID managers, civic leaders, young people, property owners, retailers, and other stakeholders will be invited to in-situ workshops using the network of contacts the Task Force has, in partnership with a host local authority. Up to 70 delegates can attend the workshop. 

  • Training courses - Developing Place Leaders / Analysts
    Once conditions allow, we will be offering a one-day ‘Developing Place Leaders’ learning programme aimed at strengthening place leadership across a functional economic area. We will work with LEPs on this and the expectation is all towns and cities in a particular LEP area will send a delegate to the course, ensuring the programme benefits a wide range of place leaders. The ‘Developing Place Leaders’ course will be run monthly.

    The 'Developing Place Analysts' one-day course aims to improve understanding of basic place data principles to improve decision making. It will give an introductory overview of key metrics and datasets available in the High Street Task Force Dashboard (e.g. footfall and sentiment) and how to interpret them. The course is provided by Springboard on behalf of the High Streets Task Force, and accredited by the Institute of Place Management. Attendance will be open by invitation only and will only commence when conditions allow.




How can you access support?

Place leaders, local authorities, organisations and stakeholders should register their interest with the High Streets Task Force.

Support is open to a wide range of people and organisations. The Task Force will work with people from Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), town centre partnerships, civic and resident associations, business associations, local authorities, combined authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Government.

High Streets Task Force services will be based on the need and capacity of the organisation requesting assistance. Following initial engagement, we will identify the right Task Force intervention(s) needed to unlock the potential of that place and improve the capacity for place leadership and partnership working.

Although our full range of support services will not be available until conditions allow, you can register to receive updates from the Task Force including opportunities to be involved with our work, and the progress of our pilot services.